This past weekend found Yale’s sailors scattered across the Eastern seaboard, as both the women’s and coed cohorts raced in a total of five regattas and swept the competition in two.
Beautiful weather met the Bulldogs across all venues, though an initial lack of wind delayed some races on Saturday and ended some regattas early on Sunday. At Brown, the Elis took first at the Sherman Hoyt Trophy while they came in a close second for the Hood Trophy at Tufts. At home, the Bulldogs dominated the Yale Invite, and while a younger cohort of Elis had rougher results at URI’s Salt Pond Invite, the women’s team sailed to second place at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl at Dartmouth.
“As we progress into the season, the depth of skill in our team is becoming increasingly visible, with strong finishes across a number of regattas in the Northeast,” Dylan DiMarchi ’20 said. “This depth makes the team improve exponentially faster, as practices now feel more like competitive regattas.”
Winds ranged from five to 14 knots at the Hoyt Trophy, which took place at the Edgewood Yacht Club at Brown. Yale took the lead early on, ending Saturday in first place and retaining their advantage until Sunday when they beat Ivy rivals Brown and Harvard for first place. While Brown won the A division and Yale took third, the Bulldogs made a comeback in the B division, nabbing first place over 16 other teams.
According to Claudia Loiacono ’21, who sailed the Hoyt with Louisa Nordstrom ’20, Saturday’s racing was somewhat tricky. Current played a larger role because of light winds, so sailors had to make calculated decisions about where to steer their boats. Darker water, Loiacono said, indicates more wind, but it could also indicate unfavorable currents. While Saturday’s light breezes forced sailors to prioritize current over winds, Sunday’s wind picked up, allowing the Bulldogs more flexibility in their strategy while also adding challenges.
“Sunday … started off really nicely,” Loiacono said. “Louisa and I were doing really well and then [the wind] started picking up in the last four races, and Louisa and I are a lot lighter than all of the guys that sail, so we started to struggle a little bit, but we still won our division, which is pretty cool.”
The Bulldogs also saw success at the Hood Trophy at Tufts, missing the top spot to the host Jumbos while finishing ahead of the other eight teams. While Saturday’s calm skies kept the sailors ashore for most of the day, Sunday brought enough wind for eight more races.
In contrast, winds on the first day of the Yale Invite proved strong enough for eight races, though Sunday’s racing ended early after the breeze died. The Bulldogs dominated on the homefront, snapping up the top four spots ahead of Connecticut College and Tufts. A younger squad of Yalies also sailed at University of Rhode Island, coming in eighth place while the Rams earned first.
“Generally the weekend showed our growing potential as a large team with many new members,” DiMarchi said. “The Yale Invite offered a chance for the rest of the team to sail at home this weekend in perfect light air conditions, sweeping the first four spots.”
Meanwhile, the women’s team dominated at Dartmouth, taking second place out of 18 teams at the Mrs. Hurst Bowl. At Lake Mascoma, the regattas saw light winds over the entire weekend, forcing the Bulldogs to focus on keeping the boats moving with very little breeze.
The Yale sailing fleet in Branford consists of 18 Z420 racing dinghies, 18 FJs, four Lasers and three safety launches.
Valerie Pavilonis | firstname.lastname@example.org